Melbourne’s most burgled suburb named
Williams Landing has again been named Victoria’s most-burgled suburb.
The suburb, near Laverton, was the state’s most-burgled two years ago but has now dropped to second place last year.
Half of top 10 in west
This year, five of the top 10 most burgled suburbs in greater Melbourne are in the western suburbs.
These include Williams Landing, in the top spot, followed by Broadmeadows and Dallas (joint second), Braybrook (fourth), Ardeer (seventh) and St Albans, Kealba and Kings Park (all sharing 10th spot).
These suburbs are at least twice as likely to be burgled than the average home in greater Melbourne.
Greater risk for majority in west
The majority of the suburbs in the Western Metropolitan Region are above the state average for burglary risk.
These include Sunshine, Albion, Footscray West, Maidstone Keilor East, Caroline Springs and Werribee, among others.
Western suburbs with a lower burglary rate than the state’s average include Avondale Heights, Sunbury, Taylors Lakes, Essendon and Airport West.
Find the full list of suburbs at racv.com.au.
Don’t store valuables with your undies
Leading senior constable Craig McDonald, the crime prevention officer in Maribyrnong, Wyndham and Hobson’s Bay, warns that burglars are fully aware that people are creatures of habit.
Craig says to leave spare keys and valuables in a spot that the whole family knows, but avoid clothing drawers, pantries, hooks and other typical places.
Craig says a burglary leaves victims feeling violated, especially when clothing has been rifled through.
“Girls can throw out their undies and buy new ones if burglars have been through the undies drawer,” he says.
Sliding doors the key to entry
Sliding doors are the most common entry point, senior constable Craig McDonald says.
“The locks are only made of very thin tin – you can’t physically pull it apart with your hands, but a screwdriver will,” he says.
Newer sliding doors have improved, but Craig says if you have an old one, it’s worth investing in a good triple locking security door, which are about $500.
“How much is your house worth? Have a realistic look at what you’re protecting, most crooks are opportunistic and a door they have to destroy will deter them.”
Craig shared his home security guides with us – there’s the 57-point checklist and the visual guide.
“It covers everything and won’t make your home look like a fortress,” he says.
Thieves targeting cars in Moonee Valley
Theft from cars and stolen number plates is a problem in Moonee Valley, the area’s crime prevention officer, leading senior constable Courtney Nichols, says.
“The cleaner your car, the less chance you’ll be targeted. If you have a driveway use it and one-way screws are the best prevention for number plate theft.”
She says last year there was a spate of Audis and Mercedes being stolen using a service key stored in the logbook.
“We sent every Audi owner in the region a letter, which got a good response and the thefts died off,” she says.
Courtney says it’s important to not leave keys lying around, even if you’re in a rush.
“In the garage, in the ignition, on the seat in the car, it’s easy to get into a garage and just take the car,” she says.
Commuters being watched
Leading senior constable Courtney Nichols says thieves watch commuters, target garages overnight, then come back during the day when they think no one is home.
“Many people also leave phones, tablets and laptops in cars overnight,” she says.
“It’s the same with loose change. Even if it’s only $3 or $4, they hit 10 cars and they’ve got between $30-$40 and that’s a good day.”
She says to be careful of the spare credit card. Crooks can go on a contactless payment (where no PIN is needed for purchases below $100) spending spree until there’s nothing left on the card.
Safe and secure
RACV general manager home services Aaron Flavell says protecting your home doesn’t have to be hard.
“Being conscious of security is the first step, and it’s easy to start building it into your routine so it becomes a habit,” he says.
“Don’t be lazy with bringing the bins in each week or keeping trees and hedges trimmed.
“For the best peace of mind, consider installing an alarm system with back-to-base monitoring, backed up with a CCTV surveillance system,” Aaron says.
Through RACV’s years of membership benefits, RACV members can save up to 20% on Premier Monitoring and Standard Home Security Monitoring services.
2016 burglary statistics series
This story is part two in the 2016 Safe as Houses series on burglary statistics in Victoria. Up next is the Northern Metropolitan electoral region.
How does your suburb compare? Search your suburb and find out. Find out more about RACV home security.
In 1997 there was, on average, a burglary every 11 minutes. RACV has been analysing the crime statistics back to this time to inform members about what was happening in their suburbs and to give them some ways to protect themselves and their homes. Last year, the average was down to closer to one every 17 minutes.
The base data, which RACV Home Services now analyses each year, comes from 2014/2015 Victoria Police crime statistics and is matched with the number of occupied houses according to census and local government data.